Friday, April 2, 2010

Baby Allen Yuuto

Allen Yuuto Smith was born the 24th of March! It was a long pregnancy for Taeko, even though he was born three weeks early. We are all glad that both Mother and Baby are doing well. Aside from Allen's sleeping schedule he's a perfect little boy.

Allen was 2800 grams and about 47 cm long (6 pounds 3 ounces and 18.5 inches). He was about 3 weeks early, and so was smaller than his older siblings, but he seems just as strong and healthy as they were.

Taeko was worried about having Allen come before her mother could arrive from Japan to help. The day her mother was to arrive she had a routine doctor's appointment, at which the doctor discovered that she had dilated to three centimeters. The doctor told her to go to the hospital to have herself and the baby monitored. He wasn't sure that the dilation meant the baby was ready to come, and wanted to see whether Taeko was progressing.

Taeko's mother was due to arrive at the airport at around 1:45 or so, and we weren't sure what we should do if Taeko needed to be in the hospital. The doctor at the hospital monitored Taeko and the baby for maybe an hour and a half, and afterwards said, "Well, you don't seem to be progressing, but I want to watch you for another hour." An hour and a half or so later he said the same thing. And again a third time.

Thankfully, a very nice friend in our church group, also Japanese, offered to pick Taeko's mother up from the airport. Taeko's mother's plane arrived early, so they arrived at 2:00. The family then left straight for the hospital.

Allen was born at 5:39, so we had just enough time for our kids and Taeko's mother to visit with Mommy before he was born. Daddy had to run them back home and get back before the nurses and doctors and Mommy were all ready for Allen to come.

Since Taeko had driven herself to her doctor's appointment that morning, and then to the hospital, and Bryant had driven the other car to the hospital later that day, we had two cars at the hospital, and only one driver to drive them home. So Bryant drove the smaller car home that night, and at 10:30 p.m. rode his bicycle back to the hospital, put it in the minivan, and drove it back home. Bryant has nice long bicycling pants, but only open-fingered cycling gloves, and his fingers got pretty cold.

We are all grateful that Allen came to us safe and healthy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

He's a Boy!

Today Taeko had an ultrasound. It's a boy.

The due date is April 15th, 2010. So a while after that Colin will have a new roommate. (I get him first.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fish Vegetarian

Table conversation last night:

Daddy: Explains that a vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meat.
Colin: You're a vegetarian.
Daddy: No, I'm not.
Colin: Yes you are. You're a fish vegetarian. You don't eat fish skin.
Daddy: Oh. I guess I am, then.

Colin: I like to eat fish skin.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


We have a book, called Chicka Chicka ABC that our kids both love. In it all of the letters climb up to the top of a coconut tree and end up falling out of the tree because there is too much weight. Here is a video of us reading the book.

Last week Grandpa and Grandma got to visit us for a few days. Colin and Riona warmed up to the grandparents quickly, and got to have some fun times with them. Colin has been bowling several times with Grandpa, and this time he made sure that we took Grandpa and Grandma bowling.

And we were able to go to a park, eat lunch, and play around afterwards.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Riona Dictionary

Over the past two days our family has come together to make an important list. The list of words that Riona can say.

As you are all aware, Riona is being raised to be bilingual, and already she is showing a skill for both English and Japanese. She is starting to use new words more quickly lately, and it's a treat to hear her new words for the first time.

English words:

No - She just recently started using this word. Tonight she used it when I asked her if I could brush her teeth. She just said, "No", and left it at that.

More - She actually pronounces this word very well. Last night she was enjoying her miso soup, and kept asking for more. I think she had about four bowls of soup. (Luckily for her bladder they weren't full bowls.)

Book - Often there is a slight pause between the boo- and -k sounds. She loves to read books. Though she hasn't yet figured out that Daddy can't read the Japanese ones.

Mommy - She is a mommy's girl. Of course she can say it.

Daddy - But she learned "daddy" first!

Cah-in - Riona-speak for "Colin". Yeah, it's cute.

Uh uh - She's good at using this word. And the head shake goes along with it. "Uh uh" is used in many situations, some examples of which are in response to, "Do you want to take a nap now?", or "Eat your vegetables."

Wadoh - Riona-ese for Water. She loves recognizing water, and does it everywhere. When we saw the waterfall in Zions Canyon she said, "Wadoh". When I drained the icebox onto the ground she walked over to it, pointed at the water on the ground, and said, "Wadoh". She can say it when she's thirsty.

Batch - Riona-ese for bath, usually said with a slight pause between the bat- and -ch sounds. She loves taking baths. Lately she's been getting very good at popping the bubbles daddy makes by blowing into his hand. Amazingly, no matter how many times she has had near accidents involving her face and bathwater (and no matter how young) she still loves her baths, and has still, to my recollection, never cried.

Bir - Or is it Biw? I can't just now remember exactly how she says it. But either way, it's Riona-ese for Bird. She has always loved birds, and will even chase them around a grassy field. Though that Steller's Jay that joined us for dinner while camping a few nights ago scared her. But he was too close for comfort for me, as well.

Cheerio - Cheerios. Actually, I can't remember now just how she says it, but she can say it. This is currently her most common breakfast, with milk. If mommy intervenes, then she gets some plain yogurt added, too.

Moo - What a cow says. Not her favorite animal, but probably her favorite animal sound to say herself.

Punch - An English word, but she knows it because of a Japanese cartoon character's TV show, Anpanman. Anpanman beats up tha bad guy, Baikinman, by doing an Aaan-Punch! (Anpanman punch), and now that Riona has been wearing Colin's old Anpanman pajamas she's been running around punching and saying, "Punch, punch".

Buckle - She will say this word when I'm buckling her into her car seat.

Joo - Riona-ese for Juice. We don't drink a whole lot of juice, but she loves it when she gets it.

Baboh - Riona-ese for bubble. She, like Colin, loves it when I blow bubbles in my hand during bath time. And she, like Colin, loves to pop my bubbles. I've learned, in the course of being a parent, that kids usually want to destroy the things you make. Like bubbles, or towers made of alphabet blocks, or whatever. At least until they get older and get a train set.

Mana - Riona-ese for Banana. She loves bananas. Loves them! Unfortunately, she isn't regular enough to eat them very often. Her current fruit of choice is the raisin.

Mine - This was actually one of her first words. Right after Daddy (1st!) and right before Mommy, I think. So it may have been her second word. Colin was a good teacher for this word. Maybe we should have given Riona more toys of her own, instead of expecting Colin to share.

Pants - Actually, when she says "pants" it sounds pretty close to when she says "punch".


Itai - "Oww" in English. Earlier she would say this word in a very nonchalant manner, as if she were saying, "Well, I guess it hurts. Just thought you would want to know." More recently she's been using it more like you'd expect. But somehow, just this last week, she started using itai in the same way Colin used to when he was younger: that is, to get attention. "If you won't hold my hand, or respond to me, well, fine. 'OWWWW! Oh, it hurts!' Now will you give me attention?"

Tete - Baby talk for "te" in Japanese, meaning "hand". Most commonly used with "Mommy, tete!", or "Mommy, hold my hand!" when we are in the car. Mommy has usually given in to the request, despite the awkward twisting it requires to reach around from the front seat to the back seat, and when Mommy has tried to be strong Riona has shown herself willing to spend an hour repeating herself, with all the tears and drama she can muster. "Mommy, tete!" will sometimes devolve into, "Mommy, itai" if it isn't effective after half an hour or so. See above.

Achi - Baby talk for "atsui" in Japanese, meaning "hot". She can assess whether something is "achi" all by herself and begin the blowing procedure to cool it off.

Nini - Baby talk for "Oniisan" in Japanese, meaning "older brother". Colin therefore goes by both "Colin" and "Nini" in our family.

Baaba - Japanese for "grandma". She gets to talk with Baaba over the internet fairly frequently, and loves to say, "Baaba" to her. And Baaba loves to hear Riona say it.

Kaii - Riona-speak for Kawaii in Japanese, meaning "cute". It is for obvious reasons that Riona has learned this word. She now points at herself and says, "Kaii", and then waits for you to acknowledge that yes, she is kawaii.

Keki - Or is it Keeki? Whatever. Cake in English, and is pronounced basically like "cake-ey". I haven't heard her use this word yet. Hmm, maybe my family is secretly baking and eating cakes while I'm at work.

Nene - Japanese baby talk for nemasu, to sleep. Usually said of someone else, because she isn't the kind of person to volunteer for taking a nap.

Bato - Riona-ese for Baton, which is a contraction of Bachi and Futon, meaning dirty blankie. I'm not sure if that is a standard contraction or if it's just what Baaba called Taeko's blankie because it was, growing up, a dirty blankie.

Bachi - Japanese for "Dirty". She loves pointing out when things are bachi, though sometimes she declares them bachi when I don't think they are. Maybe she sees something I don't.

Pipi - Japanese baby talk for "tori", meaning "bird". Saying "pipi" in Japanese would be about like us calling something a "cheep cheep" or "chirp chirp". She knows both "pipi" and "bird", and will vary which word she chooses I think based on which one she had heard most recently from Mommy or Daddy or Colin.

Wawa - Riona-ese for Wanwan. This is the children's word for "inu", meaning "Dog". She has always loved dogs, and one of her best dog moments was when, at the park, she was able to pet two wonderful Shetland Collies, who were both so patient through all the pettings. She'll chase dogs, too, from a safe distance.

Panpan - Japanese baby talk for Pan, or bread.

Paka paka - Horse. I haven't heard her say this one, either. It's another one of those Japanese children's words based on the sound the animal makes.

Monday, January 5, 2009

More Riona Birthday Pictures

Here are some more pictures taken during Riona's birthday.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Well, I can't figure out this blogging software. I have tried several times to upload a couple of videos, and it keeps failing. So, to tide you over until I can get the rest of the videos uploaded, I'll just post these two.

The first is a video of Colin's new train set. Santa brought this train set to our house on Christmas. It is a great set, with two battery powered trains and a whole lot of track. We had some friends over for a New Year's celebration, and one of these friends, Brian, put a great track together. (It got even better than what is shown here.)

Colin's friend Max is next to him.

Riona also celebrated her birthday. I wanted to upload a video of us singing Happy Birthday to her, but for some reason that continually fails. Taeko made a great cake with whipped cream and cream cheese frosting, topped with kiwi and peaches. This is Riona's first birthday cake, and she was deciding how she wanted to eat it.